more from Rosalind Hursthouse

Single Idea 4343

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism]

Full Idea

Utilitarianism says there is nothing intrinsically wrong with lying, but examples of bare-faced lying to increase happiness drive us to deontology; but then examples where telling the truth has appalling consequences drive us back to utilitarianism again.

Gist of Idea

We are torn between utilitarian and deontological views of lying, depending on the examples


Rosalind Hursthouse (On Virtue Ethics [1999], Ch.3)

Book Reference

Hursthouse,Rosalind: 'On Virtue Ethics' [OUP 2001], p.83

A Reaction

A nice illustration of why virtue theory suddenly seemed appealing. Deontology can cope, though, by seeing other duties when the consequences are dreadful.